The concept is simple. I cut, you clean. If you're an able-bodied person, why pay a crew to clean up after trimming a few trees? If you have a fireplace (or an outdoor fire pit) why not keep the wood and save yourself a lot of money? I have a bucket truck with a 40' reach, which is more than enough to reach the top of most trees. I can trim around power lines, over houses, etc. If a tree is in your way, chances are I can help. By taking care of the cleanup, the homeowner can save about 80% over the cost of having a full service crew do the same job. On average, it's about $1,000 per tree for a full-service crew, while I'm usually $100-$200 per tree. I give free estimates and I'm happy to come meet you in person after 5pm or on the weekend (I realize most people work). If I'm not suited for the job I have the names of a few larger companies that you can reach out to.
Here's the extended version with detailed answers to the common questions I get:
Unfortunately DIY homeowners can't simply rent a bucket truck and trim their own trees. If they could, home maintenance like tree trimming and gutter cleaning would be a lot easier for the average homeowner to do themselves ... but the average homeowner doesn't have the license to drive a bucket truck or the skill to operate the bucket safely. Which is why you can't simply go down to Home Depot and rent one.
So what's the alternative when you need a few trees trimmed? Hiring a tree service crew can cost $1,000 or more ... PER TREE!
This is because to make it worth their time they have to be able to make a profit after paying their 3+ person crew and driving 2+ vehicles to the property. Usually this includes a bucket truck and a box truck towing a chipper. If the entire tree needs to be removed there's often a third vehicle towing a trailer with a skidsteer and possibly a dump truck to load the tree waste into.
Cleanup also takes the majority of the time. Potentially turning a 4 hour trimming job into a multi-day project.
Then there's also the added cost of disposing of the wood waste. Tree trimmers often have to pay the dump by the pound to dispose of their trees. This results in the unscrupulous tactic of driving out into the woods (often onto private property) and illegally dumping the trees.
If you do hire a full service crew, please make sure you understand what they are doing with their wood waste. Don't support illegal dumping!
Ok, so how much does it cost? Obviously this is heavily dependent on the situation and the work you need done. If the tree is close to power lines or buildings the cost is higher because the risk is higher. The cost also goes up on uneven terrain. If you're tree is on a steep hillside, I'm not your guy (I don't climb trees). Basically if I can't reach it from the ground or with my bucket truck it's not worth the risk for me.
Since every job is different, most tree service professionals are reluctant to provide site-unseen bids. I'm the same way. However, here are a few example scenarios to give you a rough estimate.
Want a few branches cut down that are hanging over your roof and clogging your gutters? Or do you have a dead "widowmaker" limb that is making you nervous? This starts at $200.
Remember, a dead branch or tree is the homeowners responsibility to remove. Often claims caused by a dead or dying tree will not be covered by your insurance. If a dead branch falls on your car (or worse, your neighbors car), its often not covered. If a dead tree gets blown down on your house by a hurricane its also often not covered.
There are also situations where trees are healthy, but a nuisance. And example would be when you have limbs scratching your car as you pull down your driveway. Fixing this problem starts at $100.
Need an entire tree cut down? This is obviously a bigger job and often requires special rigging to lower the limbs and 3 foot sections of trunk safely to the ground. This takes longer and starts at $300-500 depending on the size of the tree and difficulty of the job.
I'm happy to do small $100 jobs if the job is near my home, which is in Winnsboro near Lake Wateree State Park. The further away the job is, the bigger the job would need to be to make it worthwhile. But if you're willing to wait I can sometimes combine multiple small out-of-town jobs into the same day. My bucket truck holds 100 gallons of diesel and it doesn't exactly get Prius-like fuel economy. At 6mpg the cost of a job in Columbia or Charlotte adds up considerably.
Keep in mind, I'm happy to clean up smaller jobs myself, but that sometimes costs a little extra. For example, if you have a few branches that you'd like me to haul away and they are small enough to put in my bucket truck, I'm happy to do that at no extra charge. But if I need to bring an extra trailer to haul off tree waste there will be an up-charge.
I'm happy to come out and give you a free estimate (in my Prius). If we can agree on a price I'll add you to my calendar and return with my bucket truck and gear.
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers